The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to promptly notify the public after a pollution spill occurs.
The Senate bill (SB 532) cleared the Senate unanimously on Tuesday. The bill came in the wake of a massive sinkhole at a fertilizer plant that sent millions of gallons of contaminated water into Florida’s main aquifer.
Under the Senate bill, those responsible for a spill would need to notify the DEP within 24 hours of the hazard being discovered. The DEP would then be mandated to issue a public emergency notice. If operators do not comply, they could be penalized $10,000 for each day the spill goes unreported.
The House version of the bill has yet to go through a committee hearing.